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Life is funny. It throws things at us and we have to adjust.

Make Things Happen – Creative Mornings

I picked more of my favorite quotes from Creative Mornings events to share with you. Be inspired to make things happen. “There’s a distinct ripple effect that occurs when we witness or perform acts of courage.” — Yewande Austin “The future is crafted by those who do work they don’t have to.” — Scott Belsky “If you want to be the change, first think about the change you want to see.” — Grace Rodriguez “Persist with optimism.” — Hillary Wall “No one owes you anything.” — Isaac Duncan III “Question why things are the way that they are.” — Yeshe Dawa “What am I doing that I could change so that it could be accessible to more people?” — Courtney D. Marshall “In communities we have strength and energy. We can use that to make things happen.” — Dan Spain “Every voice has something to contribute, and every voice matters in our community. Sometimes we have to pause long enough to let those softer voices have their say.” — Solomon Masala “Change is inevitable, change will always happen, but you…

Rethink, revise, rebrand - Are we ready?

Keys to a Great Rebrand

Are you thinking about a rebrand for your store’s identity? Sure there are risks involved. There is, of course, the cost of the investment, but what about the way the rebrand will be communicated to your customers? How will they respond to this new identity? I read an article, The Keys to a Great Rebrand: Advice From the Duo Who Revamped Chobani and Spotify, written by Matt McCue. In the article, McCue shares advice from Brian Collins, CCO and co-founder of the branding company, Collins, and Leland Maschmeyer, CCO at Chobani and co-founder at Collins, for a successful brand redesign. They give 6 key points to consider. A rebrand includes a redesign of your company’s logo. As someone who has done logo design in the past, I can tell you there is a lot more work and time put into designing a logo than you may realize. Then you’ve got revisions to typography, possibly colors, imagery, voice. It is an entire revamp of the advertising and marketing approach. It is not something you want to do just because it sounds…

ADA documentation

WordCamp recap – ADA

Although the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed in the year 1990, some companies have been slow to get on board with its requirements. The act is a federal legislation that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. The act applies to not only brick and mortar stores but also the online arena. In the beginning, ADA was enforced for public-facing websites and government websites. There are 3 levels of requirements and each state followed their specified level. I don’t know the reason it has taken so long for companies to get onboard with ADA. I think a lot of them didn’t even know it existed. It wasn’t until Winn Dixie was sued for having a website that did not meet ADA compliancy, that grocery stores started to research what they needed to do to meet compliance. At WordCamp this year, I attended a couple sessions that addressed ADA. In the presentation, “ADA Accessibility: A Necessary Part of Your WordPress Site”, Lora Williams explains why we should make a website accessible. Companies and people are facing lawsuits if their site is…

Compass with needle pointing to core values

WordCamp recap – Voice Your Values

At WordCamp this year there was a lot of talk about ADA and SEO. I’ll talk about ADA in another recap soon. As for SEO, we have written articles recently, such as Content Marketing & SEO and How SEO Can Strengthen Your Digital Store Brand Identity. While you do need good SEO to drive traffic to your website, values are important too. Actually, in today’s world, it is kind of unique. Having core values to define your brand can make you stand out from your competition. In the WordCamp session, Voice Your Values, Andrea Garcia, Chief Mind Officer at mind+matter, says to let others know who you are and who you are not. Define your brand. Voice your values and you will connect with customers who are looking for the same values. That makes sense, right? When you hang out with friends, don’t you have the best time when you are with those who share the same values and the same interests? We at AWG manage social media pages for many of our members. One thing we must keep in…

KCDMA 70th Anniversary Luncheon - A Marketer's Guide to PPC Ad Extensions

KCDMA Recap: A Marketer’s Guide to PPC Ad Extensions

At this month’s KCDMA luncheon, Erik Dahlstrom from Emfluence presented a marketer’s guide to PPC (pay per click) ad extensions. Before we get into that, let’s talk about the basics of creating a Google Ad. Go to ads.google.com You must have a Google account for your business and be logged in to start a Google Ads campaign. Select campaign type – search, display, app, shopping, video. Create Google Analytics account if you don’t already have one, then link your Analytics to your Google Ads and set up Goals to track conversions. Go back to Google Ads to import Google Analytics goals. Select campaign settings in Google Ads, such as audience, run dates, budget, bidding and ad extensions. Set up ad groups and select keywords. Create ads for each ad group. Campaigns are now created and you can modify specific strategies for each campaign. Payment method needs to be set up before running a campaign. There is an excellent tutorial with more details on setting up Google ads at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLeduV-d7lc Notice in step 6, I mention ad extensions. Erik says no…

Best Buy employee assisting a customer

Adobe Summit Recap – How Best Buy is Competing with Amazon

I recently watched a keynote session from this year’s Adobe Summit. Shantanu Narayen, the CEO of Adobe, sat down to chat with Hubert Joly, the CEO of Best Buy. Joly shared some innovative ideas that may encourage any retailer who feels their business has been disrupted by the digital world. Seven years ago, Best Buy knew they needed to do something so they didn’t “die” to Amazon. They had to find a way to reach customers other than by selling them a product. They discovered customers were coming into their store to shop for products and then leaving the store to buy those products from Amazon. To discourage that, Best Buy started price matching Amazon. This was part of their Renew Blue, a marketing campaign about rebuilding the company and fixing what was broken. They also invested resources into their website and online shopping capabilities. They now ship as fast as Amazon does, for FREE. And they’ve invested in their employees to improve the customer’s in-store experience. Then came the marketing campaign, Building The New Blue, which is about reinventing…

Communicating in a Smart and Connected City

Communicating in a Smart & Connected City – PRSA recap

Chris Hernandez, chief spokesperson for the City of Kansas City, Missouri and director of the City Communications Office, spoke at a recent PRSA luncheon. Chris’ office handles media relations, social media, the city’s website and community engagement. He shared with us some progress Kansas City has made with technology and why he sees it as a smart city. What is a Smart City? It is a city that uses creative engagement and technology to reach residents, improve sustainability and enhance the quality and performance of its services such as energy, utilities and transportation. Chris says, “It’s not about technology. It’s about delivering better services for our city.” Kansas City, Missouri is a leader when it comes to having services for our residents, compared to other cities in the metro.  Why is Kansas City considered a Smart City? Google Fiber Street car Smart street lights Bird electric scooters and bike sharing Use of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) For those who have been affected by recent flooding, they might be relieved to hear the city is currently in the process…

The Future of Typography - Dan Rhatigan - Adobe Type

The Future of Typography (KCDesignCore Recap)

In this blog post I won’t be sharing information on how to get customers to your store or how to increase your sales, but for those graphic designers out there, this may spark your interest. I occasionally visit the monthly Adobe users group meetup here in Kansas City, called KCDesignCore. This month Dan Rhatigan, manager of Adobe’s in-house type foundry, presented some new cool stuff Adobe has been working on in typography. Dan took us back in history to when type was set and printed on a page. Certain fonts were considered “good typography” and were more legible than others when printed. But we don’t engage in text the way we used to. We now read on digital screens. We have adapted to moving objects and 3 dimensions. Even in the early days of web design, there were limitations on fonts. When I first started designing websites, we had only 5 or 6 fonts available for use. Verdana was suggested to be most legible on computer screens so we were pretty much locked into using Verdana for everything. Well, at…

Generations - photo credit The Center for Generational Kinetics

Unlock the Power of Generations to Grow Your Business

It was 8am at AWG’s Innovation Showcase and some of us were still consuming our first cup of coffee for the day. If you’re a millennial…ok, maybe even if you’re not a millennial, it was pretty early in the morning to sit and listen to an hour-long presentation. But with Jason Dorsey as the speaker, we were sure to be both educated and entertained. Jason is the President of The Center for Generational Kinetics, whose mission is to separate generational myth from truth through data. In Jason’s talk, the generations he covers are Baby Boomers (born in 1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1976), Millennials (1977-1995) and Generation Z (1996-TBD). For the first time in history we have 4 generations working together. For those of us who work with people of many different ages, it can cause some challenges, especially when it comes to communicating with each other. Jason uses humor during the presentation to poke fun at each generation but makes some key points. He illustrates a scenario. “Who here has ever had a conversation with a young person and you just…

Say yes and then learn later - Dani Abram

Be Inspired – Creative Mornings

More inspirational quotes brought to you by Creative Mornings events “It’s important to respect tradition and to challenge it as well.” — Jim Gray “It is selfish not to be honest.” — Meriah Garrett “Bravery: it means accepting responsibility for the impact of our actions and the weight of our words.” — Eleanor Perry-Smith “Our actions tend to have a ripple effect. Even a small act of kindness might mean more to someone than you can possibly even imagine.” — Stephanie Glaros “Jobs are critical, but the relationships that we gain in the jobs that we have are huge.” — Rob Perez “When I restarted my thinking and stopped being afraid of making mistakes, discomfort or the unknown, I was able to pursue my creative passions and experiences without limitations.” — Michelle Bazis “Being a survivor is not just limited to living through a tragedy. Being a survivor is taking that tragedy and making it purposeful.” — Leon Ford “Be grateful for all the obstacles in your life. They have strengthened you as you continue with your journey.” — Hassan…